Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

These no-bake chocolate chip cookie bars are my favorite treat! A decadent peanut butter chip layer is tucked underneath a creamy cacao spread.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

These peanut butter chocolate chip cookie bars… where do I even start!? If you make one dessert/snack recipe from this blog, I highly recommend this one! 🙂

There’s a delectable peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough layer underneath a rich cacao-date-walnut layer. That all sounds fancy, but these are actually very easy to put together. You won’t be able to stop eating them, but that’s ok because they’re made with some wonderful wholesome ingredients and a few (delicious) superfoods, like cacao and maca powder. They store well in the fridge and freezer, but good luck keeping them for any great length of time. I’ve been trying to hide them everywhere, but, in my house, they have a way of quickly disappearing!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

So what the heck are cacao and maca? Cacao is the most pure form of chocolate, and it’s packed with antioxidants, fiber, and magnesium (read: chocolate is healthy!). Maca is powder from the Peruvian maca root, and has a malty, vanilla-y, butterscotch-y flavor that’s insanely delicious in this cookie dough layer. It’s known to naturally support the body’s ability to adapt to stress and improve energy, vitality, and stamina. I usually put it in my smoothies, but I also love stirring it into baked goods, or in this case: non-baked goods. Note: if you don’t have maca powder, you can just skip it. If you don’t have cacao, you can use regular cocoa powder or just make the cookie dough layer into balls.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

While I love using these types of ingredients, they’re often hard to find and can be really expensive at regular stores – which is why I’m SO excited to partner with Thrive Market today. If you haven’t heard of Thrive Market, it’s an online marketplace whose mission is to make healthy living easy and affordable.

Fancy superfoods aside, I found that so many of my kitchen staples – organic whole rolled oats, almond flour, organic nut butters, organic dates, and organic maple syrup (to name only a few) – are all a fraction of the cost of the brands I find in the grocery store.

Ingredients in my Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

  • Peanut butter & almond flour: the base of the cookie dough layer
  • Maple syrup: for natural sweetness
  • Coconut oil and sea salt: for richness
  • Vanilla: for cookie dough flavor
  • Chocolate chips: because these are chocolate chip cookie bars!
  • Maca powder: optional, but see above for it’s wonderful health benefits

Another neat feature is that if you’re vegetarian, vegan, or gluten free, you can shop by those specific filters – which means that you won’t have to closely read packages to figure out if your seemingly-vegan item contains traces of dairy.

The last thing I’m going to gush about is the personal obsession I have with their peanut butter. I know it seems like peanut butters would all be created (somewhat) equal, but theirs has the best texture and flavor I’ve ever tasted – just look at the photo near the top of this post to see how oozy it is.

So with your oozy peanut butter, make this peanut butter cookie dough layer by simply stirring the ingredients together and pressing them into the pan…

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Make the cacao layer by pulsing the above ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

Then the best part – layer them together! So yummy… I’m having trouble not drooling all over my keyboard right now.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

To make them extra pretty, sprinkle with a little flaky sea salt…

The best part – there’s no baking required! From here, you can dig them out of the pan if you need your snack NOW… otherwise let them firm up in the freezer for 20 or so minutes so that you can neatly cut them into squares.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Storing Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Store the finished bars in the fridge. For longer term storage (yeah right), they can be frozen.
   Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

I hope you give Thrive Market a try! They’re offering 25% off your first order and a 30-day free trial. No discount code needed, just check out their site!

And if you can’t get enough of these chocolate chip cookie bars, try these peanut butter chip cookies or these almond butter brown rice crispy treats!


5.0 from 9 reviews
Raw Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Superfood Bars
 
Author:
Serves: makes 25 bars
Ingredients
Cookie Layer
Cacao Layer
Instructions
  1. Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the peanut butter, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt until combined. Add the almond flour and maca and stir to combine (the mixture will be thick). Fold in the chocolate chips and press into the pan. Place in the freezer so that it firms up a bit while making the next layer.
  3. In a small food processor, pulse the walnuts, cacao powder, and sea salt until the walnuts are well chopped. Add the dates and pulse to combine, adding 2 tablespoons water if the blade gets stuck. Process until smooth, then spread onto the cookie layer. Sprinkle with sea salt if desired. Freeze for 30 minutes (this will help them firm up, making them easier to cut). Remove and slice into bars. Store remaining bars in the fridge.
  4. Finished bars can also be frozen. Let each bar thaw for about 15 minutes at room temperature.

This post was created in partnership with Thrive Market. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that keep us cooking!

61 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.17.2018

      Thank you!!!

  1. shay grady from theresheglowsblog.blogspot.co.uk
    09.17.2018

    These are definitely on my list to make next!! They sound amazing and look so delicious!

    theresheglowsblog.blogspot.co.uk

  2. Christy
    09.17.2018

    Looks amazing…do you ever post nutritional values? I’m watching sugar intake and know that dates are high, just wondering??? Thanks for your great recipes!!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.17.2018

      Hi Christy, I don’t… counting calories, etc, has personally led me to unhealthy eating habits in the past. These bars are definitely meant to be an indulgence, so probably not low in sugar 🙂

  3. Sanja
    09.17.2018

    Jeanine, what would you recommend as a walnut substitution in this recipe? Thanks!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.17.2018

      Hi Sanja, pecans would be delicious!

  4. Vanessa
    09.17.2018

    I’d love to make this, but unfortunately can’t use dates (or raisins or prunes for that matter). Are there substitutes (more nuts? other dried fruit?) that would be a preferred alternative / should I just remove the dates and use a different paste of some sort for the same texture?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.17.2018

      I’ve only tested these with dates, let me know if another fruit works for you!

  5. CHRISTINE
    09.17.2018

    Hello Jeanine, Thanks very much for sharing this yummy recipe! With recent reports on coconut oil being the new “bad guy” AGAIN, what oil would you recommend I use as a substitute? Can I just use good oil olive oil or peanut oil? Cheers!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.17.2018

      I think another oil could work, I haven’t tried… I still consider coconut oil to be healthy enough.

      • CHRISTINE
        09.17.2018

        Thanks very much for your prompt response, Jeanine!

    • Cathie
      09.17.2018

      Sorry about typos. I used my phone and hit post prematurely. I can’t figure out how to edit here.

  6. Marco Pereira
    09.17.2018

    Can you provide the nutrition numbers?? For example how many calories, sugar, protein, fat and carbs does one square or one piece contain?

    Does anyone know how to calculate macros when making home made foods? I’m assuming you jog down how much you use of each ingredient then add all the macros up and then devide them by # of servings?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.17.2018

      Hi Marco, I don’t calculate nutrition info, calories, etc, because it’s contributed to unhealthy eating habits for me personally in the past. These are a yummy indulgent treat 🙂

      • Marco Pereira
        09.24.2018

        Good point i like that way if thinking. I’m definitely going to try making these, thanks for the recipe.

  7. Alison
    09.17.2018

    Yum! Can’t wait to make these!!!

  8. Steph
    09.17.2018

    Any substitutes for maca powder? I have everything else.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.17.2018

      Hi Steph, you can use extra almond flour… hope that helps!

  9. Gaby Dalkin
    09.17.2018

    OMG! I *really* need these in my life!

  10. Susan
    09.17.2018

    These bars sound wonderful, but I would have to omit the maca powder. It is probably fine for most people, but if, like me, you are sensitive to stimulants, it’s best to stay away from it.

  11. Brittany Audra @ Audra's Appetite
    09.17.2018

    These look absolutely insane! I love having no-bake treats on hand in the freezer pretty much at all times…these are next on my list of things to make! 🙂

  12. These look fantastic! My daughter is allergic to peanuts, what nut butter would you recommend for the cookie base that would still taste great?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.18.2018

      Hi Karen,

      Almond butter is delicious in these!

  13. Angela
    09.18.2018

    Hi Jeanine–do you think the peanut butter layer would stand well alone as a treat? Thank you!

    • Angela
      09.21.2018

      I’m going to reply to myself! The peanut butter layer could definitely stand on its own, especially to make a very fast treat, but the date/walnut layer makes the bars that much better. I followed the recipe as is, and it’s wonderful! I cut mine into app. 30 squares.

      • Jeanine Donofrio
        09.21.2018

        Ah! So sorry for missing your first comment!! I’m so glad you enjoyed the peanut butter part – I make that layer by itself most often since it’s so quick, sometimes I roll them into little balls 🙂

  14. Oh my oh my these look utterly scrumptious! I will have to give these a go.
    Just came across your blog now, I love the content, so many delicious recipes to get busy with 🙂
    Love, Kate x

    http://www.kate-and-co.co.uk

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.24.2018

      Hi Kate, welcome!!

  15. Claudia from particuliere-lening-aangeboden.nl
    09.20.2018

    Helpful tips, thanks 🙂

  16. Eve-Marie
    09.21.2018

    I made these yesterday and they are incredible! They really taste like cookie dough only they are so much more nutritious 🙂 I love how simple and healthy the top layer is – I added a little extra water to the food processor because it wasn’t getting smooth and spreadable, and that helped a lot. Thanks for the great recipe!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.23.2018

      I’m so glad you loved them!!

  17. Ali from alimargo.com
    09.23.2018

    These are the perfect trail snack for our active mountain lifestyle and my two year old loves them! Love that they have superfood ingredients, protein, and natural sugar. I may have snuck a bite or two after dinner, too … 🙂

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.24.2018

      Yay, I’m so glad the whole family loved them!

  18. Bryan
    09.24.2018

    These would be the perfect snack when I need a little pick me up. I just sent it to my girlfriend so we can go to the market tomorrow morning and get all of the ingredients!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.27.2018

      I hope you enjoy them!

  19. Jacqueline Jacques
    09.24.2018

    These turned out amazing. Topped mine off with unsweetened shredded coconut and used chopped tart cherries instead of chocolate chips. Mmmmm.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.27.2018

      Hi Jacqueline, I’m so glad you loved them!

  20. Yay!! I just bought some Maca a couple weeks ago. These look fabulous! I just wish my food processor wasn’t broken. I better get it fixed so I can whip these up! 🙂

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.27.2018

      Maca has such a wonderful flavor! Good luck with your food processor 🙂

  21. Jenn from daytripper28.com
    09.27.2018

    I love that they are naturally sweetened. I might have to throw these in the kids lunches! Thanks for the idea.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.27.2018

      Let me know if you give them a go!

  22. Jen
    10.03.2018

    Can I use whole wheat flour instead of almond flour?

  23. Tina K Hamilton
    10.08.2018

    I made this without the Maca, amended as suggested. I used an ice-cream scoop to portion out the cookie layer into parchment baking cups. After freezing placed a smaller scoop of the cacao layer on top, sprinkled with Maldon salt. This way I have portion control (ha-ha) and an easier way to store and share. Thanks Jeanine for a yummy recipe!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.17.2018

      Hi Tina, I’m glad you loved them! Thanks for the tip about the ice-cream scoop method!

  24. Beth C from bethcolletti.com
    10.16.2018

    My husband and I made these last night after dinner. SO YUM!!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.17.2018

      Hi Beth – so glad you both loved them!

  25. Wendy from wandymcnobledownunder.blogspot.com
    10.26.2018

    Made these the other day, they turned out great! I don’t have a food processor so I just soaked the dates in hot water first and blended the ingredients for the topping with about 2tbsp extra water. I love how filling it is as a snack but easily satisfies a sweet afternoon craving!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.29.2018

      Hi Wendy, I’m glad you loved them! Thanks for the blender tip!

  26. This dish certainly got my attention just by looking at the photos, Jeanine! The recipe shows exactly the ingredients and what to do on them. Can’t wait to give it a try!

  27. Oh my! Just made these and they are off the charts YUM!!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.17.2018

      yay, so happy to hear! Thanks for coming back to let me know!

  28. Jen
    12.13.2018

    What would be a good replacement for coconut oil?

  29. Lex
    12.23.2018

    What can I do to replace the Maca powder? Unfortunately I’m allergic to this

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.23.2018

      Hi Lex – you can just leave it out, it has no affect on the texture, they’ll still be terrific without it!

  30. stacy
    01.24.2019

    I love your blog. These look great. Can I use avocado or some other oil for the coconut oil?

  31. Jacqueline Jacques
    01.26.2019

    My son and I make this recipe all the time – we absolutely love it. We often sub dried cherries for the chocolate chips – which is really delicious. This last time, I was got to making the Cacao Layer and to my horror had only about 1/4 cup of walnuts. But I did have a whole bag of raw pine nuts. I have to say I will make it this way on purpose in the future!. The pine nuts added a depth of flavor that was surprisingly delicious.

  32. Kelly from chickadeeartandco.com
    04.02.2019

    AMAZING!!!!! I’m obsessed and will make this again and again.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.04.2019

      Hi Kelly, I’m so glad you loved them!!

  33. Nikki
    06.08.2019

    Made these delicious bars last night for friends. Everyone loved them. Even her husband who doesn’t care for sweets went back for seconds.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.